The “race that stops a nation” was run today with a reported $300m swapping hands (mostly in one direction towards the bookies, I’m figuring).
I won $100 on the sweeps at work – but for years I didn’t enter them. As a child, every teacher would run a class sweep for the Cup. I named my beloved toy donkey ‘Think Little’ as he was my very own baby brother to the mighty Think Big. I’d won a purse made out of a coconut for drawing him in my grade 1 sweep. Then I had a few lean years.
Tragedy struck in Grade 5. We all got to draw a name out of the hat for our classroom sweep. The year was 1979 and I drew a fantastic horse called Dulcify. He was a favourite but ‘broke down’ at the last turn to the straight. I didn’t understand what had happened until the tv showed him down on the ground with the vets all around him. I cried and cried.
A by-the-by line in the media gave away the news that a horse was destroyed at Flemington today.
“Oliver had a rollercoaster day after waking to headlines questioning whether he should be riding at all.
His ride in race one – Write the Cheque – finished well down the track, then in race four mount Rose of Peace broke down and was destroyed.”
And just like that, I’m back in grade 5 and I remember Dulcify. Won’t ever forget him.